This is not an endorsement of a candidacy; this is a statement of a friendship.
Recently ICB posted a questioning piece that involved an email he received from someone named Elijah about Branden Durst, candidate for State Senate. The post involved some tough personal and financial accusations/implications that Elijah offered, as an "uncomfortable" voter. (Not sure that his impartiality aligns with his uncomfortable standing, but let's think the highest and best of him, anyway.)
ICB asked this: "My question is, does it matter? Many people have these issues come up in their lives. Is this much ado about nothing? Or do we hold elected officials to a higher standard? You decide."
As always, ICB placed the issue squarely before his readers for their thoughts.
I read the piece and had some immediate first blush responses to what the author, Elijah, provided to ICB. I decided to wait for a bit before I entered into the discussion.
I'm done waiting - so now I want to comment about Branden Durst.
I've known Branden and his family for a number of years. We attend the same church (BoiseVineyard) and our wives at one time share-taught together as public school teachers. I knew him when he was not in elected office, when he was and when he was defeated for re-election. Branden Durst has always been the same man. Never differed.
Do he and I have differences of opinion on some key public policy issues? Of course we do! My wife and I have differences, for goodness sakes. We agree on other key issues. Branden's political resume has a D next to his name and I have an R next to my name.
And we are friends.
I've seen him when he was lower than a snake's belly and I've seen him happy as a clam. Through each of the chapters of Branden's personal and political journies, Branden Durst is who he says he is.
He's the real deal.
No phoniness, no political niceness to strangers, just a guy asking questions and wanting to serve.
Does Branden have baggage about which this fellow, Elijah writes to ICB? Let's examine that.
I'm not sure that this accuser is accurate or not on his specific charges, but I am sure that we all have baggage, so it wouldn't surprise me if Branden has some bumps and bruises. It's called life. We've long ago ceased demanding a Messiah's resume for public office.
Two good men
What we do want are honest men like Branden Durst and his opponent in that Senate race, Senator Mitch Toryanski. Both are good men. Mitch and I attended the same college. I have a great deal of respect for him and do not for a minute believe that Elijah is in any way connected to Senator Toryianski.
These men and their families should be applauded for putting themselves out as candidates
I have plenty of personal losses, bruises and bumps. In my case, I have a son who went to jail and prison and then died. I have business losses and failed projects. So what? It isn't in the getting knocked down that really matters, it's in the getting back up that counts - for Durst, for Toryanski, for me and for you.
If all the things that Elijah writes are accurate (and my guess is they are not), so what?
Branden Durst has taken care of his past tough times and is forging ahead to a new tomorrow for himself, his family and for those who will vote for him.
I'm not in his or Mitch's district, so my comments mean very little regarding politics but my hope is that they mean a great deal about Branden Durst's character.